Smartphone thermal imaging shown at CES

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Flir has showcased a thermal imaging camera accessory for smartphones at the CES 2014 show in Las Vegas. The device, called One, uses the company’s Lepton thermal camera core technology, which is reported to be an order of magnitude cheaper than its predecessors.

Flir One attaches to any Apple iPhone 5 or 5s smartphone and displays a live thermal image on the phone's screen. Flir has stated a targeted price tag of $349 for the device and a worldwide rollout is planned for spring 2014.

By making Lepton cheap and small, Flir has already attracted interest which is reflected in more than 100 new patent filings.

'Not only will Lepton support an array of new imaging applications, but its revolutionary price, size, and low power consumption will open new markets for the useful information and data that thermal technology provides,' said Andy Teich, president and CEO of Flir.

The company has also said in a press release that by making the One a smartphone accessory it is now a versatile tool that can be applied to a wide range of applications. Potential applications stated include: homeowners and contractors identifying heat or cooling leaks in buildings with the device, or find studs in walls, or locate water damage; observing wildlife or navigating in the dark; and even detecting intruders in total darkness or seeing through smoke in an emergency.

The One houses a rechargeable battery that can boost iPhone 5 battery life by up to 50 per cent according to the release, and will allow for two hours of continuous use of the camera.

Teich went on to say: ‘Flir One represents a dramatic step in our pursuit of “infrared everywhere”. As the first truly consumer focused thermal imager, One introduces thermal imaging technology to a completely new group of customers than we currently serve.’

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